Holy Kiwi!

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Sometimes I find myself thinking of what it will be like growing old with this hubby of mine who is sitting next to me.  It usually hits me when he is doing something like hanging the Christmas lights on the second story or doing some sort of heavy lifting.  In a house full of females, I think it will definitely be noticeable when he is not our “go to” guy, when his sons-in-law start saying things like, “Oh Brian, I’ll get that.”  But for now, he is Mr. Manly and that wasn’t more evident than this weekend.

Holy Kiwi!  I am usually up for an adventure, and I come up with plenty on my own, but then Brian does the same which can make things quite full on.  One of the things we wanted to do while here in New Zealand was to hike and stay and a full stocked hut in the forest.  Brian thought it would be perfect to do this when my mom was here because she loves hiking and walking.  He contacted the Department of Conservation and found that this certain hut was about a 5k walk, about 2-2 1/2 hours, from where you park your car and it was very family friendly. The path was about 2 people wide and when he asked if we could take the stroller, the man couldn’t exactly answer that.

Well, I will answer that now that we have taken the stroller and the answer is no.  The family friendly hut is perfect for families with walking children.  While it was difficult getting there with the stroller and our 6 sleeping bags that weren’t the tiny kind that real hikers use…thatwasn’t our hut.  That “family friendly” hut was a shared hut, and in planning for this outing, we thought, let’s go 30 min. further and have our own hut. What’s 30 more minutes when you have already walked 2 hours?   Thirty minutes turned into 1 hour 30 minutes.  The terrain was now very narrow climbing over fallen trees, up steps of tree roots, through thick muddy patches and across streams.  Much of the time there was a near cliff on one side.  On 2 occasions, Clover is heading down the side but thanks to Mr. Manly, he never let go.  All the while, Clover is saying, “It’s fine.  He’s fine.”  Though Mr. Manly has the hardest job of all with the stroller and hiking backpack on his back, who do you think is his assistant?  Me.  I am doing pretty good because I have to.  The kids are being amazing and I tell my mom, “We can’t complain because they have been walking for 3 hours and they aren’t complaining.”  And so we keep on trekking, because there is nothing else to do.  We are approaching night.  Finally Brian asks if I’m okay, and maybe I was being a bit dramatic, but I said, “No!  I’m dying here!”  Physically, I felt like it was perhaps the hardest workout I’ve ever had, but really, I was just freaking out inside every time Brian fell or the stroller skidded scarily down the side of the near-cliff.  And so I decided to carry Clover and let her walk when she could.  That way at least my mind was at ease that Clover was safe, or safer at least.  The signage kept us going, 30 more minutes.  And then 30 minutes later, 20 more minutes.  Twenty minutes later, 15 more minutes.  It was like a cruel joke.  Piper said, “When we get there I’m going to get in my sleeping bag and read!”  And then Tatum said, “I’m going to watch TV!”  Sorry sweets, no TV, no electricity even.

We finally arrived, and we had fun playing cards, and eating a yummy dinner.  Tatum said she liked how quiet it was.  We went out looking for kiwi after dinner, and hit the hay, because now we knew what was in store the following morning.  We had to get back to our car!

From the time we left our car to the time we got back, we were gone 24 hours.  In that time we hiked 11 1/2 miles.  Seven hours!  Carrying our gear and stroller, crossed multiple streams, ate dinner, slept and played a few games of cards. On Saturday night when we got home we all slept like babes.

Tatum and Piper were amazing troopers.  Piper didn’t surprise me, but Tatum did.  Two hours into our walk back, she asks my mom to tell stories of when I was little, and she says, “This is fun!”  Yesterday, back at school she wrote about her adventure. I love her added little sound effects 🙂.  I’ll go ahead and fix the spelling, but here’s what she had to say:

Zoom!  Hop in the car.  It’s time to go.  I had to wait one hour to get to the parking lot.  It was pretty on the first part of the walk.  And then it was shady and cold.  We brought the pram.  Clover almost fell off the cliff.  *Dun dun duuun*  Every sign said something like 10 minutes but it felt longer than it was, really longer than t it really is.  Then when we got there we were exhausted.  We came home on the beach.  I loved it!

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When we thought we were halfway there, but no, not even a third of the way.

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Bridges and rivers and forests, Oh my!

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